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November 08, 2011

Comments

Kirsten

Thank you for sharing this! You're right, we must evaluate ourselves.

YoungGal

I once heard in a sermon: "Confession doesn't guarantee you never sin in that way again. But hidden sin grows; confessed sin withers." So true. I also really like this passage from the ESV Study Bible notes on 1 John 1:7 :
The symbolism of light as knowledge also implies that when Christians “walk in the light” their lives will be known, and will not contain hidden sins, falsehoods, or deception. Such walking “in the light” results in deep divine and human fellowship and progressive cleansing from all sin.

I have definitely come to know this "deep divine and human fellowship" as I've confessed my sinful thoughts and actions in being attracted to and entering into a relationship with another woman. In my opinion, homosexuality would be right up there as one of THE most difficult sins to confess to others. But I have received mercy and grace at the cross, and mercy and grace, along with guidance, challenge, and accountability from those around me and from my pastors.

To have people walking alongside me that I can go to when I'm struggling, when I desire to go back to that relationship. That is the true freedom of being who you really are and not hiding in fear. The Christian life is openly confessing where you have fallen short and receiving Christ's righteousness and finished work on the cross.

Christians still sin, but the difference is they fight with God against their sin instead of with their sin against God.

Aimee Byrd

"Safety isn't found in the reaction of others. Safety is found in the light of God." Love that line. If we would just be more honest with ourselves before God, we will come to see that. His is the only approval we need and as believers he has already given us that. But we fight him against the loving act of sanctifying us for that glorious day we will see him face to face! Great post.

Bob Rodriguez

Great article. It is unfortunate that in the church I grew up in and became an elder, once these sinful areas were known about me the gossip began to spread. Instead of grace and mercy there was a casting aside of myself and my family. A shunning and then when I would approach the other leaders of this there was only a condescending attitude. Needless to say we left and have begun all over at a spiritually healthier church.
We thank the Lord for His goodness and grace and mercy. We do see the light of His grace in all this.

Bo

"In God's mercy, the one thing we don't want to do -- drag our sin out of the darkness and confess it others -- is the very thing that will actually spare us."

That is such a great (and TRUE) statement!

I am so grateful that the Hound of Heaven hunted me down several years ago & finally brought me to my senses to forsake my sin!!

Great article!

Gloria Furman

YES! Thank you for this article.

Trusting others to handle my soul with grace requires faith-- not in them, but in Christ!

If I'm apprehensive to confess my sin to the Lord (who has spared not His own Son for me!), then how much greater a struggle it will be to believe other sinners will receive me with grace. [sigh]

Anna Fortner

So timely!! Thank you so much ! Hope to share this with my Bible study group tomorrow!

Sad

Carolyn, I appreciate your comments. The other side of this needs to be expressed, too. I am in the process of leaving a church where I shared some of my struggles with several people in leadership, with usually neutral or compassionate responses at the time. However, recently two of those people in leadership have used my confession to attack me, shame me and then ostracize me, thus setting an example for others to do the same. Fortunately, the Lord has at the same time also provided amazingly gracious community outside my church where I can confess and struggle and grow. We absolutely need to express struggles and sin, but I am unfortunately learning to be more cautious with who I share those struggles. I wish I could have stayed in my church and struggled alongside people who have been my friends, but a situation was created where that was no longer possible. The Lord is gracious, and is working in my life and the lives of those around me in the midst of this difficult time, and I'm starting to be excited about what He's going to do next.

joanna

thanks for the post. we're trying to cultivate this in our women's group right now.

Gail

I've seen friends go through that same process of God's mercy continually suggesting they get help from others and Him, yet they choose not to. None have gone to jail but they have caused devastation in their own lives and others from their sin.

It's a reminder for us to come honestly before God and ask Him where He has the spotlight of mercy and grace pointing at in our lives at the moment.

Cathy

Carolyn, my heart hurt as you were talking about your friend. This unfortunately is an example of how critically important accountability partners are in our lives. Thank you for sharing this.

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